Before I start this blog post properly, I just want to reiterate that:
THIS JOURNEY TOOK PLACE IN FEBRUARY 2018. I HAVE NOT LEFT MY HOME TOWN SINCE LOCKDOWN BEGAN.
Just in case I get any comments telling me off for making an unnecessary day trip during lockdown. I’ve only been to work and to the supermarket since March 23rd 2020.
Anyway, let’s go back in time to those heady February days in 2018. I had an awful lot of holiday left to take at work, and so I had a few weeks off. I had the great idea of buying a weekly bus ticket from my local bus operator which gave me unlimited travel across all of their routes at any time of the day or night for £16, I think it was at the time. On one of the days, Friday 2nd February 2018, I took a trip to Lichfield, a cathedral city in Staffordshire around 13 miles from my home town of Burton upon Trent.
I caught the bus to Lichfield in Burton town centre. It was the fast bus service that speeds straight down the A38 road to Lichfield bus station. It was late in the morning when I arrived in Lichfield, and I had no plan of what I was going to do or where I was going to visit. I had only been to Lichfield once before; for a job interview back in 2010. I had a walk through the city centre shops and the Three Spires shopping precinct, and then I found myself in a car park. There was a grass verge nearby, and a few people around, so I walked up the verge and was greeted by an impressive sight:
This was Stowe Pool, a large lake. In spite of the cold, it was a sunny day, so there were a lot of people around walking their dogs and just taking in the winter sunshine. I walked around the edge of the lake, and then headed up a road called Gaia Lane, which Google Maps informed me would take me to the cathedral.
It was a longer walk than I had anticipated, taking me through a narrow country path and more modern housing estates, but I found myself back in the city centre eventually. I still had no idea where I was going, so I walked down a side street, where I looked up and saw Lichfield Cathedral. It was difficult to miss; it’s absolutely huge.
Lichfield Cathedral was constructed between the years 1195-1340 and is dedicated to St. Chad and Saint Mary. It was partially destroyed in the English Civil War in the 1640s, but was repaired later in that century. The cathedral underwent further restoration during the Victorian era. The Cathedral Close buildings nearby are one of the few surviving examples of a medieval courtyard. The independent Lichfield Cathedral School is also located nearby.
After admiring the outside of the cathedral, I decided to head home. I managed to find the bus station, but the fast bus back to Burton had just departed. I saw another bus with “Burton” as its destination, the 812, so I got on that. It wasn’t until I had boarded and gone upstairs (to the front, of course) that I looked up the timetable and saw that it would take over an hour to get home.
It turned out to be a very fortunate mistake, as I got a great view of some very picturesque villages which lie between Lichfield and Burton. The bus passed through Yoxall, Kings Bromley and Alrewas. When this lockdown which is in force at the time of writing is over, I will definitely stop off in some of those places for a proper look around. The countryside looked stunning in the sunshine, and the bus passed by houses with actual thatched roofs, something I had never seen before.
Thanks for reading this post about a previous journey I made. Hopefully I will be out and about again in the next few months when this lockdown situation is over.